Live Nation this week announced separate deals in two states as it continues its aggressive moves to ward off rival Ticketmaster. The first deal helps the live music giant establish a stronger foothold in the New Jersey music market as Live Nation becomes the exclusive promoter of Asbury Park’s three best-known music venues: the 1,600 capacity Paramount Theater, the 3,600 capacity Convention Hall and the 850 capacity Stone Pony.

Investors Madison Marquette and Asbury Partners, who are spearheading the multi-billion-dollar Asbury Park Waterfront Development effort that will include restaurants, retailers and public spaces along a mile of Boardwalk, selected Live Nation as their exclusive partner through 2011 to book and promote all live music events at the three venues.

Lou Reed’s April 24 concert at the Paramount Theatre, marks the inaugural performance of this partnership.

“This one deal enables us to complete our New Jersey venue portfolio by adding three key venues in the important small and midsize venue range, with no significant capital outlay,” said Live Nation New York President Kevin Morrow. “From an artist’s first play at the historic Stone Pony to the 16,000 capacity PNC Bank Arts Center, we now have a complete venue portfolio spanning every attendance level to offer artists and fans in New Jersey. “

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Live Nation talent buyer John D’Esposito, a respected veteran in New Jersey concert promotion and founder of the New Jersey based Bamboozle festival, will coordinate event booking for all three venues.

In the second announcement this week, Live Nation has entered into an agreement to acquire the majority of the live music assets of late Florida concert promoter Jon Stoll’s Fantasma Productions. The acquisition includes Fantasma’s bookings and the leases for the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre and Grounds in Pompano Beach (capacity 2,900) and Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton (capacity 3,500)– important mid-sized venues in one of the top 20 markets in the U.S. As part of the agreement, Stoll’s widow and Fantasma principal Lori Stoll will retain an interest in the profits of the acquired business for a period of years and take a senior position in Live Nation’s Florida office.

The additions will fill important niches in Live Nation’s Florida venue portfolio which already includes the House of Blues in Orlando (capacity 2,100), the Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa (capacity 19,000), Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach (capacity 19,000) and the newly-opened Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami Beach (capacity 2,100).

“Over the past year we have worked hard to strengthen our presence in the Florida market, and this agreement is a major step in that expansion,” Neil Jacobsen, president of Live Nation Florida, said in a statement. “This deal represents the union of two of our state’s major live music players. Jon Stoll was a legend in the Florida music business and we are honored that Lori has agreed to become part of our team and continue the Stoll family tradition in Florida.”

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